Literary Terms

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Stories[edit]

  • Plot Diagram: Organizational tool used to show events in a story
    • Exposition: or... Basic Situation is made up of three different parts. Characters, setting, and conflict.
    • Hook: Catches reader's attention and makes him/her want to continue the story.
    • Rising Action: Made up of the events that lead to the climax of the story.
    • Climax: Highest Point of interest in the story where the conflict begins to be solved.
    • Falling Action: Slowing down of the story line leading to the end.
    • Resolution: End of the Story where the conflict has been handled and settled.

Characterization[edit]

A static character is a character in the story who stays the same throughout the story. He or she does not change personality/beliefs despite what happens within the story.

A dynamic character is a character in the story who does change because of the events that have occurred within the story.

Direct characterization is used when an author reveals a character's traits in a straightforward manner by informing the reader through narration or other characters.

EX: Karen is bright, energetic and helpful.

Indirect characterization is used when an author reveals a character's traits/personality through his or her actions and dialogue.

EX: As Karen looked over her test, she started to chew her pencil and shake her leg. [the personality: nervousness]

Irony[edit]

Difference between expectation and reality.

Dramatic Irony - When the reader knows something that the other character's don't know.

Situational Irony - What happens is the opposite of what is expected.

Verbal Irony- When the stated is the opposite of what the speaker means.

Conflict[edit]

Internal Conflict - Struggle between a character and himself/herself. Usually some type of moral dillema.

External Conflict - Struggle between two opposing forces. This is not the PROBLEM a character faces.

Man vs Man: Struggle between two people

Man vs Supernatural: struggle between a person and a supernatural being like a ghost

Man vs Machine: struggle between a person and technology

Man vs Nature: hurricane, blizzard, tornado

Point of View[edit]

Vintage point/perspective from which a story is told.

1st person: The narrator is the main character of the story. The story uses pronouns like I, me, my, us.

3rd person: The narrator is a character outside of the story. The narrator is NOT a character in the story.

Omniscient: Knows everything and sees everything in the story.

Limited: Narrator only knows the thoughts/feelings of one character.

Other devices[edit]

Dialogue - Conversation between 2+ characters in a piece of literature.

Setting - The time/place a story occurs.

Symbol - A person, place, thing, or event used to represent itself and something else including abstract ideas.

Complication: The problem the main character faces while trying to resolve the conflict.